Erdogan pledges to open Turkey embassy in East Jerusalem

Israel is yet to respond to the latest remarks from Ankara about East Jerusalem which it views as an integral part of its "indivisible capital."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said his country would open an embassy in the Palestinian-claimed eastern sector of Jerusalem, as a response to this month’s American recognition of the disputed ancient city as Israel’s capital.

However, Erdogan spoke cautiously about the prospects of delivering that promise anytime soon, pointing out East Jerusalem remained under Israeli occupation along with the rest of the West Bank.

“We cannot open it now. We already declared it as [Palestine’s] capital. God willing, that day is near, we will open our embassy there,” Erdogan told a provincial convention of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Karaman, according to state media.

The Turkish President, whose policies stand at stark odds with Ankara’s NATO ally the US, was referring to a decision given last week by an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in which he hosted heads of states and ministers from 56 Muslim-majority countries.

US President Donald Trump’s authorization of the State Department to move the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has flared tensions, albeit so far only in rhetoric, between Erdogan’s Turkey and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration.

Despite repeated diplomatic and rhetorical confrontations during much of the last decade, the two Mediterranean nations maintain decades-old robust commercial and military ties.

Israel is yet to respond to the latest remarks from Ankara about East Jerusalem which it views as an integral part of its “indivisible capital,” in its hands since the 1967 Arab–Israeli War.

Netanyahu addressed Erdogan’s daily attacks since Trump’s move 11 days ago only once so far, saying last week that he was not to receive “lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages,” in response to the latter’s labeling of Israel as a “terrorist and child-killer state.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany